Texas Governor Rick Perry, at a bill-signing ceremony Sunday [June 5] at an evangelical school, suggested that gays and lesbians who don’t approve of a constitutional amendment banning same-sex marrages and civil unions should move to “a state that has more lenient views than Texas.”
The governor’s remark came at Calvary Christian Academy in Fort Worth as he signed legislation requiring minors to obtain written parental consent before undergoing an abortion and signed a resolution putting the anti-gay-marriage amendment on the statewide ballot in November — a purely symbolic gesture since his signature was not required.
The proposed amendment defines marriage as between one man and one woman. It also prohibits the state from recognizing civil unions and contractual arrangements intended to simulate same-sex marriage.
When a television reporter asked him how the proposed amendment might affect gay veterans in Texas — one of the groups protesting outside the Calvary school — Perry replied, “Texans made a decision about marriage, and if there’s a state that has more lenient views than Texas, then maybe that’s a better place for them to live.”
Gay Dallas lawyer Ed Ishmael called on Perry to apologize, calling the governor’s remark “outrageous.”
“I am a Texan, and I’ll not let the likes of Rick Perry tell me to leave this state,” Ishmael said in an e-mail statement.
Randall Ellis, executive director of the Texas Lesbian/Gay Rights Lobby, also called on Perry to apologize.
“It is shameful that the Governor would ask a group of veterans to leave Texas,” Ellis said in a statement released Tuesday. “Real Texans honor the sacrifice and service of all our veterans. If Rick Perry will attack those who are fighting and bleeding for our country in Iraq for his own political reasons, then who is next?”
And just who is pushing Texas’ constitutional ban on same-sex marriage? It’s a familiar crew.
Gov. Rick Perry is lending his endorsement to an organization established by two indicted associates of U.S. House Majority Leader Tom DeLay that is promoting amending the Texas Constitution to ban gay marriage.
Perry, who this week was quoted as saying that gay war veterans returning to Texas should live elsewhere if they wish to marry, touts the gay-marriage ban in a video link on a Web site operated by the Texas Marriage Alliance.
The Web site was set up by a Vienna, Va., consulting firm operated by John Colyandro and Jim Ellis, the DeLay associates under indictment in Texas on charges of violating campaign-finance laws during the 2002 election. Both are charged with money laundering, and Colyandro also faces 13 counts of unlawful acceptance of a corporate political contribution.